My ultra-boring life

Thursday, April 24, 2008

We're failing our children

This is something that has been bugging me for a while. I've seen it around a bit, but the most profound examples of how we are failing our children seem to come from my sister who teaches high school in Oklahoma. Over a third of the senior class in her high school are flunking out. OVER A THIRD! And from the tales she has told me of so many of her students, it's not a surprise. The kids just don't care, and their parents don't care, to put even the slightest modicum of work into their education. They won't bring their books to class, they won't even bother to read the questions on tests -- she actually had a student who prided himself on getting through an important test quickly by guessing on every single question. The kids are beyond apathetic and rude and cheating is second nature. I could tell you many stories but I will spare you the gory details. And lest you get the impression that this is just her school or just Oklahoma, I have heard similar stories up here in Idaho. It's appalling. These are the people who are going to be running our businesses, working on our vehicles, helping us in stores, and working on our homes. Not to mention the ones that will be helping us in hospitals, flying us across the country, and other life-threatening situations.
Where do these kids come from? Answer: lazy, apathetic, or self-absorbed parents. I've seen many parents try to absolve themselves with statements like "I didn't teach them that" or "I don't know where they get it from, must be from other kids at school," but the bottom line is the kids learn this crap from their parents. Responsibility, love of learning, integrity, all good things are learned from the smallest age, way too young for blame to be placed on the schools, not to mention that it has been proven in study after study that parents have the biggest influence by far out of any factors influencing children. And many parents are just plain too stupid to realize what they are teaching their children when they do things like get mad at a kid for asking questions ("curiosity and learning is bad") or attempt to justify a dishonest behavior ("as long as I get what I want, it's okay").
Please, people, pay attention to your kids. If you don't HAVE to work, stay home with your kids and love and teach them the things that they need to grow up smart and strong and good. It's hard work. REALLY hard work. If it's not hard, you're not doing it right. But it's worth it. Not even the best schools or daycares can make up for what you are teaching or not teaching your kids right now.

2 comments:

Mark Dittmer said...

It seems hit and miss which people teach their kids "responsibility," but I share your concern that "love of learning" is all too rare in our society, and in fact general disinterest in learning is passed from parent to child in our society every hour of every day, while our schools flounder. Bad times.

Enjoyed your cats video. Do you visit lolcats? They're really funny. Also, welcome to facebook--beware, it's addictive. I'll friend you on Wednesday, which happens to be the only day I allow myself to visit that particular networking site.

Anonymous said...

Just think, now that you're going to be a foster parent, you'll be able to force your values and beliefs onto other peoples children.